The War

There is a war going on. It is a very serious war that someone should make a ribbon about. You know, raise awareness and stuff. Maybe have a charity to take care of the war vets when they are wounded in battle.

It is a war with your children. Every day there are strategic battles, and those battle lines have been drawn in crayon. The great majority of these battles must be won in order to win the overall war.

Here is an overview of the most important battles in this war.

The Crayon Skirmish. The rule is "We only draw on paper." In reality, this battle has been lost by many parents on many occasions, including me. The proof? Crayon drawings on the couch, the glider, the kitchen table, the walls, the computer screen, and even the carpet. In short - everything but paper. This is a losing battle in homes across America. 

The Great Potty Training Battle. You want them out of diapers. They seem ready. They might even "pretend" that they are cooperating, like the wily little creatures they are. But then, just when you have been lulled into a sense of complacency they strategically decide not to tell you they need the potty. Instead, they just let it rip in the middle of the living room floor. Or their bed. Or worse, in the car seat. This falls into the "you are not the boss of me" category of tactics. It is their way of saying, "You don't own me, Sergeant Mom." This is your cue to yell at them until the vein pops out on your neck and/or forehead, and to "drop and give me 20!" But be warned, getting mad will only make it worse and their sneak attacks will get sneakier.

The Battle of the Naptime. This one starts as early as age 2 and goes on until about age 4. Sometimes longer. You know your child needs a nap. But they refuse. They say they are hungry. That they are not sleepy. That they want to play. That they have to pee. It is always something. If you give in after a particularly violent protest, the next time you try to put them down for a nap it will be even harder. And next thing you know, they are no longer napping at all, thus taking away the only moments of calm and silence you will have until bedtime. This one is a crucial battle that will pave the way for the next battle. Do not give in. Danger! Danger!

The Battle of the Bedtime. Here is another important sleep-related battle. They want 489 books instead of 2, they want 7, 815 lullabys instead of 3. They run around like butt naked maniacs from the time they get out of the bath until you try to wrangle them into their PJs. You and your husband will most likely have to outflank them, close in on them and then capture your prisoner(s) of war. Hard labor in a forced labor camp can be required of your POW the following day in the form of making them clean up their toys. Then again, that involves the Mess Massacre, so maybe not.

The Mess Massacre. "Clean up your toys", you say. "I can't, my arm hurts," they complain.You ask again nicely. You ask again not so nicely. You threaten. They pretend not to hear you. You get angry and make ever bigger threats that you really do not want to go through with, but the situation is escalating fast.  "If you do not clean up these toys right now, I am going to throw them all away!" They get upset, cry and throw themselves on top of their toys protectively. But they fail to mobilize enough to actually put them away, which means you have to follow through with the threat. You go get a trash bag, they scream as though you were going to put them in it instead of their toys. In go the toys. The mismatched toy pieces that no one even knows what they belong to anymore, the stuffed animals, the ball, the toy your mom gave them for Christmas... the... the expensive wooden Melissa & Doug puzzle... the first stuffed doll your daughter ever had.. the... oh, man. This is getting ugly. This is a toy massacre. Of toys you do not really want to get rid of because you are as emotionally attached to them as your child is. You want to massacre the mess. You really do. But you end up settling on keeping the toy trash bag in your closet and letting them earn them back one by one. Sigh. Did that count as a win or a loss?

The Battle for iTunes. I do not want to listen to Snow White over and over and over again. They do. I don't. They do. I say no. They start to cry. I give in. They win. End of story.

The Battle at Bath. This battle is a rather minor one compared to some of the others. If you lose this one, it will not mean losing the war. The Battle at Bath mostly involves you trying to make your kids keep the water in the bathtub. It also involves coercion and some begging so you can pour water over their hair and wash it. Worst case scenario if you lose this one? You clothes getting soggy and the children going to bed without their hair having been washed. No, wait. Worst case is them allowing you to shampoo their hair but not rinse it. In that case you may be required to do some waterboarding.

It has suddenly occurred to me that I may have been in the war zone too long, because I actually relish the thought of waterboarding them a little to show them just who is the boss.

There are many more battles that you have all fought at one point or another, involving vegetables, brushing teeth, and...? What else? What other battles have you fought and won? Or fought and lost for that matter?


  1. I'm exhausted after just reading this. I feel like I need a spa day in Vegas or something...;)

  2. i'm sure that waterboarding your children is a perfectly normal, reasonable discliplinary technique. LOL.
    i think i lost the war so i'm going to crawl into a foxhole and wait for another country to come and rescue me. i.e. grandma coming to get them tonight!

  3. Hm, sounds like a great idea. Wish I had thought of that...oh wait... ;)

  4. Not Blessed Mama, that is pretty funny- relying on another country to save you is a perfectly acceptable technique LOL

  5. lol, these comments made me giggle.

  6. I am your new follower. You can follow me back at Make sure you leave a comment so I know you visited.

    Have a great weekend

  7. My daughters are 10 & 6 & the battles are even more complicated now - especially w/ the 10-going-on-17-year old!

    I'm following you now from Bloggy Moms. My blog is if you want to check it out.

  8. Funny, I don't remember having an iTune battle! mmm, may be it was The LP battle.
    But the most unforgettable, and not funny at the time, was The mess massacre, fought in several occasions and locations... and lost every time. Hearing it coming from you now is funny. Goog solution giving them back one by one for good behaviour and/or chores.

  9. Ha, so funny! I'm having a couple wars right now. The why do I have to clean my room war most importantly. Argh!



  10. I just loved the blog. Never thought of writing down all the battles like that.

    I'm a new follower from Bloggy Moms


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